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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Comeback falls short for Pecos in 33-30 loss

c The Pecos Eagle girls basketball team didn’t get a chance to face one of their District 3-3A rivals in non-district play last Tuesday, but will try to get their first win of the season this Tuesday night, when they travel to Stanton to face the Buffaloes in a 6 p.m. game. The Eagles fell to 0-3 on the season last Monday with a 33-30 loss at home to the Midland Trinity Chargers, in a game where Pecos again struggled to come up with offense for much of the night.

The Eagles had been scheduled to follow that game up with a home contest against district rival Presidio on Tuesday, but Eagles’ coach Lisa Lowery said that game was cancelled.

“I think this is one we should have won,” said Lowery, as Pecos missed several chances to tie the score in the closing two minutes of play, after trailing by as many as 11 points earlier in the final period.

“They came back in the second half, which was good. They want to do what’s right, but at the end we just couldn’t get the shots. We missed five 3-pointers.”

Danielle Garcia’s 3-point shot that rimmed the basket with 29 seconds to play was the closest the Eagles came to tying the score, after her 3-pointer with 2:52 to play made it 33-30. That jumper came a minute after Amanda Melaba fouled out of the game for Midland, and just after she scored what turned out to be the Chargers’ final points of the night on a lay-up, one of several in which Trinity took advantage of the Eagles’ defense. “We want to follow them instead of going where the ball is going, but a lot of that is just a learning game,” said Lowery of the give-and-go baskets the Eagles allowed during the course of the game.

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ offense managed just one field goal in the first half of play, a lay-up by Adrianna Armendariz with 3 1/2 minutes gone in the opening period. Those were Pecos’ first points of the game, and the Eagles managed just four foul shots the remainder of the half and went into the locker room down by a 16-7 score.

It took less than 30 seconds to match the first half field goal total, as Garcia hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 16-10. But they wouldn’t get their third basket until Garcia hit another 3 late in the period, by which time Midland had built up a 13-point lead. Baskets by Amalie Herrera and Lily Valdez got the margin back down to eight, at 26-18, as the third period ended, but lay-ups early in the final period by Melaba and Mary Melongblind got the margin back up to 11.

“Our confidence level is so low, we’re all looking for her (Garcia) to shoot,” Lowery said. “We need for our younger ones to step up and be more aggressive, and I thought Amalie tried to tonight.”

Sophomore post Chantell Mazone also got a little more aggressive in the final period, getting a pair of lay-ups to start Pecos’ comeback. Herrera would score and get fouled on the play that sent Melaba out with her fifth foul, then hit her free throw before Garcia’s final 3-pointer cut the lead to 33-30. But after her try to tie the game missed, Armendariz missed on two more attempts in the last 10 seconds, and the Chargers escaped with the win.

Melongblind and Garcia led all scorers with 12 points, while Melaba had 10 points for Midland and Herrera had nine for Pecos. The varsity game was the only one for the Eagle girls, while they’ll play both junior varsity and varsity games in Stanton.

After Tuesday’s games, the Eagles will go to the Lamesa Tournament, beginning on Thursday. Lowery said on Monday she was still awaiting a bracket showing Pecos’ first round opponent and the starting time of their opening round game.

MIDLAND TRINITY (33) Glickman 0 0-0 0; Brown 0 0-0 0; Tull 0 0-0 0; Thomas 2 0-2 5; Winston 1 0-1 2; Lea 1 0-0 2; Jackson 1 0-2 2; Melongblind 5 2-4 10; Stoltz 0 0-0 0; Melaba 5 0-2 10. Totals 15 2-9 33.

PECOS (30) Carrasco 0 0-0 0; Garcia 4 1-4 12; Herrera 2 5-7 9; Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Valdez 1 0-0 2; Mendoza 0 0-0 0; Regelman 0 0-0 0; Armendariz 1 0-0 2; Mazone 2 1-2 5. Totals 10 7-13 30. Mid. Trinity 9 7 10 7 -- 33 Pecos 4 3 11 12 -- 30 Three-point goals: Midland 1 (Thomas). Pecos 3 (Garcia 3). Fouled out: Midland, Melaba. Total fouls: Midland 14, Pecos 13.

Eagles both get and give up easy points in split of games

The Pecos Eagles basketball team was given plenty of chances to score by the Midland Trinity Chargers, and while they failed to take advantage of many of those chances, did enough last Monday to come away with their first victory of the 2004-05 season.

But one night later, it was the Eagles who were on the wrong end of a lot of easy baskets, as they fell to 1-2 on the season with a road loss to the Lovington Wildcats.

Pecos beat Midland Trinity by a 65-31 final score in the first game, then were beaten by Lovington, 76-17 to close out their pre-Thanksgiving schedule. The Eagles will return to action on Tuesday with a 7:30 p.m. game at Stanton against the Buffaloes, before going to Andrews on Thursday for the Gym Bice Memorial Tournament.

Ricardo Morales scored 14 points despite spending most of the game in foul trouble, while Saul Pina added 10 in the win over Midland Trinity, which led only once in the game, at 3-2 in the opening minutes. Morales then scored a pair of baskets to put Pecos ahead to stay, though the Chargers did cut an 18-9 lead down to 18-16 in the closing minutes of the first period.

But Midland would then go two quarters without scoring a point. A basket by Luis Licon opened the second period, and began a 26-0 run that wouldn’t end until Jerry Harris hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left in the third period, to make the score 44-19.

All but one of the Eagles’ 12 varsity players scored in the win, while Midland Trinity was led by Harris and Chris Seymour, who had 12 points apiece.

“We had 27 turnovers, but it’s a win,” said Eagles’ coach Art Welborn. “We missed a lot of chances, but the kids tonight were hustling. We still have a long ways to go, but it was a step in the right direction.”

How far the Eagles have to go was shown the following night up in New Mexico. Lovington was the first team in the 20-year history of the new Pecos High School gym to score 100 points on the Eagles in last year’s season opener, so their easy win at home last Tuesday wasn’t a major surprise. But Welborn was upset with his team’s inability to handle the Wildcats’ press.

“They ran a half-court trap against us. We saw it in the JV game and I went in the locker room and told them what we had to do, but we didn’t execute,” Welborn said. “We didn’t have anyone in the middle, and we’d stop dribbling and get trapped.”

He said the Eagles’ matched their full game turnover total against Midland Trinity in one half against the Wildcats, and were down by over 30 points at halftime. “Hopefully, when Miguel (Estrada) comes back we can stabilize the backcourt,” Welborn said. The Eagles’ junior guard hasn’t played yet this year due to a knee injury suffered during football season, but could be back next week.

Welborn said the Eagles’ opening game at the Gym Bice Tournament would be against the host Mustangs. The two teams didn’t meet in last year’s tournament, but Andrews did win a 67-48 home game over Pecos back in January.

Monday MIDLAND TRINITY (31) Navarad 1 0-0 2; Guzman 1 2-2 5; Riggs 0 0-0 0; Seymour 5 1-4 12; Harris 2 6-9 12; Rina 0 0-0 0; Rissle 0 0-0 0; Lambert 0 0-0 0; Burns 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 9-15 31.

PECOS (65) Gonzales 0 0-0 0; Jurado 2 1-2 5; Morales 7 0-2 14; Pina 5 0-0 10; Guajanda 2 0-2 4; Licon 1 3-4 5; Anchondo 1 0-0 2; Evans 2 0-2 4; Nunez 1 0-0 2; Saldana 3 0-0 6; Macha 3 0-0 6. Totals 30 5-14 65. Midland Trinity 16 0 3 13 --31 Pecos 18 13 13 21 --65 Three-point goals: Midland Trinity 4 (Harris 2, Seymour, Guzman). Technical foul: Midland Navarad. Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Midland 13, Pecos 14.

Young boxer prepares to fight in tourney

An 8-year-old Pecos-Barstow Warbirds boxer will be heading to the Dallas-Fort Worth area this coming weekend to compete in the State Silver Gloves competition, after winning the West Texas Silver Gloves title in his weight class earlier this month in Odessa.

Abel Mendoza will be fighting in the 60-pound weight class for 8-9 year olds at the state tournament, which opens on Friday in McKinney and continues there the weekend. Mendoza is a third grader at Austin Elementary and the brother of another Warbirds fighter, Aaron Mendoza, who has been fighting for the past seven years.

The younger Mendoza was one of three fighters in his weight class at Odessa, and won his opening fight after drawing a first round bye. With a larger field in the state tournament, Mendoza will likely face 2-3 other fighters if he advances through the field at McKinney.

Since his win in the West Texas Silver Gloves on Nov. 5, Mendoza won a bout in tournament competition the weekend before last in Lubbock, where he scored a win over a previous undefeated fighter.

Eagles place four on all-district volleyball team

Two back line players for the Pecos Eagles were named to the first-team All-District 3-3A volleyball squad, while two others received second team recognition in voting by the district’s four coaches.

The team was selected three weeks ago and released following Monahans’ victory over Mont Belvieu-Barbers Hill on Nov. 20 in the Class 3A State Championship.

While the Eagles suffered through their first season without making the playoffs since 1995, junior Tiffany Tarango was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year with Presidio senior Amy Velasquez, while sophomore Amalie Herrera was named to the first team squad for the second year in a row.

Herrera was chosen as Newcomer of the Year last season as a back line player, while this is Tarango’s first year on the varsity for the Eagles. Coach Becky Granado said the team’s defense on the back line was its strong point in 2004, while Pecos struggled on offense, and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1995 season.

Named to the second team for Pecos were junior setter Jessica Flores and senior outside hitter Candace Regelman. Both players were first time selections, though Flores was an honorable mention selection in 2003.

Three of the Eagles’ hitters were honorable mention this time around. Granado said sophomores Brittany Rodriguez and Adriana Armendariz and senior Danielle Garcia received that recognition from the district coaches.

Monahans’ junior Brittany Hughes, who led the Loboes to their first state title in 20 years, was named Most Valuable Player for the district for the second year in a row, while teammate, junior Candace Swarb, was chosen as the district’s Outstanding Setter for 2004. Two other Loboes, junior Allison Miller and sophomore Catherine Cutbirth, were named to the first team squad.

Kristi Harral of runner-up Fort Stockton was named the Outstanding Hitter for the district, and the Prowlers also put junior setter Ruby Bernal and hitter Alexis Ramirez on the first team squad. Presidio, which won a third place playoff over Pecos, had two other players on the first team with Velasquez, junior hitter Yasmin Herrera and sophomore hitter Vanessa Armendariz, who was the 2004 Newcomer of the Year.

The other second team selections were Monahans senior Trisha Clements and sophomore Betthany Wilmon, senior Laura Olivas of Presidio and senior April Singh of Fort Stockton.

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